Voters overwhelmingly support Camas EMS levy

Unofficial results from the Feb. 13 Special Election show the Camas Emergency Medical Services (EMS) replacement levy passing by a wide margin.

Of the 3,186 votes cast, 72.57 percent (2,312 votes) are for the levy, while 27.43 percent (874 votes) are against.

The replacement levy will continue the current tax rate of 46 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value to support the city of Camas’ EMS response, including paramedics, equipment and ambulance services. The current levy expires on Dec. 31.

Nick Swinhart, fire chief for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department and East County Fire and Rescue, said the rate of 46 cents per $1,000 will support the city’s EMS operations for the next six years.

Since 1978, the EMS levy rate has gone up only twice, increasing from 25 cents per $1,000 to 35 cents per $1,000 before Swinhart’s tenure as chief and then, in 2012, jumping from 35 cents per $1,000 to 46 cents per $1,000.

Had voters not passed a replacement EMS levy before the end of this year, Camas could have experienced unprecedented decreases in its emergency medical services.